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apartment rental

I am in contact with the owner of a rental apartment through www.vrbo.com. The owner requests that the deposit be wired to a bank now and the remainder of the money wired 4 weeks before we arrive.
Is this a customary arrangement? This is our first time with a rental in France.

Posted by
1178 posts

I have usually made a deposit through the company (I believe) and then paid the balance on arrival...safer that way....Contact the websie for vbro and see what they say.

Posted by
8293 posts

Each owner can request payment in any way they choose. Wiring money is pricy. You might want to ask if you can pay with a credit card or through pay pal. If not, you can do as requested or find another apartment.

Posted by
4775 posts

Yes, Andrea is right. VRBO simply links you and the owner, and you pay as the owner specifies. Bank wire transfers are extortionately expensive plus you get a lousy exchange rate and, at least sometimes, the owner's bank hits him with another fee. I rented a place in Paris this year, the wire transfer for the deposit cost us both so much that the owner set up a Pay Pal account which I used to pay the rest a week before arriving. Prepayment is normal, though four weeks ahead seems excessive to me. Some of these services take credit cards but I think most don't.

I've never been ripped off in several apartment rentals through Homeaway (which owns VRBO), these services want to know about any such and I doubt if an owner who doesn't deliver would last long. Homeaway also sells insurance for $39 which covers any serious breach of the agreement, including if the place isn't as represented. We've never had to use it though.

Posted by
1501 posts

I've rented through VRBO for years, and the first time, probably ten years ago, I wrote a check to a bank account she had here in the U.S., after that it was via paypal. Balance always was due upon arrival in CASH. I've never been ripped off, and I think VRBO is very reliable, had a few apartments that had minor issues, but never had one that was misrepresented, nor have I been "ripped off." See if she'll set up a paypal account. That's a pretty normal way of doing business these days, even most VRBO renters don't like credit cards.

Not sure I'd wire money a full four weeks in advance! I've always paid cash on arrival, in some circumstances, they'd take a credit card. Stick to your guns, she/he needs to get up to date on how people handle money these days. Paypal is pretty easy to set up, and if she refuses, I'd look for another apartment. There's no way I'd pay the entire balance in advance unless it was through paypal or another guaranteed "holding agent" like homeaway, so that if I arrived and there was a big problem, or worse yet,no apartment, my money would be lost.

Posted by
2779 posts

VRBO owners set their own policies on payment and you can choose a different apartment if you don't like that one. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with asking for full payment in advance. We do that when we book a ski vacation in the US or Canada, and have done it with apartments in Europe as well. I prefer it to carrying a lot of cash to pay on arrival, or hitting multiple ATMs to gather the amount. But you must have confidence in the owner or rental agency to do that. And I never like to wire the money, as that costs $40 each time, and is a pain in the b!@! As well. PayPal works well if they don't take credit cards.

You might look at Air BnB instead. With them, you pay by credit card through the agency. You do pay in advance, but the owner doesn't get the money until you arrive and approve the apartment, so there is some protection for you. And the payment is with credit card, not wire transfer.